Evening (well, more like night🌑) my lovelies!
I hope you’re all doing well. I know my posts are so irregular, and I am so sorry about that. The past week has been the most draining week of the year, and things have popped up, which have been extremely stressful.
Anyhow, I want to write about an experience I had earlier in the week. It was a conversation between two people, and I was by no means ease-dropping, I simply heard the word autism, and I can’t switch off after I hear that. But, to add on, the person was talking so loudly… so realistically, most people could’ve heard it 😅
I believe the person was talking about their niece. I didn’t hear the first part, but from her way of explaining them, that’s what it seemed like.
Now, I just want to say this may be extremely sensitive and triggering for some people. The person was very ableist, even if they “didn’t” realise. It was very difficult for me to process, because it hits so close to home (it might as well smash the front door down at this point though…).
This person was degrading this poor child. They said things, which I want to go into more detail about- coming from someone who has autism themselves. Again, please be aware these comments are very offensive towards autistic people (of any age, any type, no matter how obvious or not).
I could tell there was something wrong with her before she could walk.
Now, I emphasise on the word wrong, because this person greatly stressed on this. Autism is NOT “something wrong”. This is far from the truth. Autism is not “wrong”. Autism just means that our brains don’t work the same as yours. You wouldn’t say that someone with different interests are wrong, would you? No. Autism is nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn’t change your worth, your value, or your power!
Maybe, in fact, you have something wrong with you- because of your ability to easily degrade people who don’t fit into your standards of “normal”. In the future, maybe rephrase this. Maybe you should say “I had a feeling she had some difficulties at a young age”; after all, autism is a
“lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.”
Oh, she doesn’t realise how stressful she makes us/them
Do you really think she does this intentionally? Do you not think that maybe she is struggling the most… you know, because she’s the one living with that disability!? She’s the one who has to try and process this for the rest of her life? Autism is hard going on those around you, don’t get me wrong, but the people who struggle and suffer the most are the people who have autism. We don’t do this to get something we want…
Rather than thinking that we do this on purpose, educate yourselves on what we struggle with- to therefore in affect minimise the stress on everyone around them. We don’t run out into roads without realising the dangers, or have meltdowns in the middle of a supermarket, kicking, screaming, and crying (this happened multiple times with me as a child) for fun or attention. So many factors can cause us great distress- from not being able to process information, to too much happening at once; even some sounds/smells/textures can set us off.
I would just like to add a note that autistic meltdowns are not the same as temper tantrums.
“The causes of tantrums and meltdowns are different, and so are the strategies that can help stop them. It’s important to remember that the key difference between the two types of outbursts is that tantrums usually have a purpose. Kids are looking for a certain response. Meltdowns are a reaction to something and are usually beyond a child’s control.
A child can often stop a tantrum if he gets what he wants. Or if he’s rewarded for using a more appropriate behavior. But a meltdown isn’t likely to stop when a child gets what he wants. In fact, he may not even know what he wants.”
She will never live an independent life
This is such a gross thing to say about anyone. But about a 9 year old… that is disgraceful. This is beyond false. Would you speak about a child who doesn’t have autism like this? No, you simply wouldn’t. How are you to know that 10, 15, 20 years down the line that a child without autism will live independently? You just don’t know.
To say this is pure ableism. You are limiting that child’s potential. You are saying what they will and will not be able to accomplish.
Now again, would you talk about a child who doesn’t have autism like this? Would you tell them that they’ll never be able to pass school, they’ll never be able to go on and study what they have the most passion and drive for? Or that they’ll never have a family?
You have no place to believe you know a child’s limits. Whether they’re your own child or not. Autistic or not, we are all people!
When I was 9, I can guess that the specialists we were seeing said similar things, BUT, said I could improve over time.
From thinking back, looking through all my paperwork, school reports, my A-Levels… I don’t think I would have believed at age 9 I would ever accomplish what I have. My parents were so supportive, and in fact still are; they always told me I could accomplish anything I set my heart to. They would tell me that I had just as much of a chance as everyone else in school did. They constantly encouraged me to do the things I love, the things I’m good at.
During secondary school, some of my grades began slipping. These were subjects I had no interest in- which, if you know this about autism by now, made it very hard to try and improve. If I had no interest in something, it would go through one ear and out the other. It wasn’t a case of I “didn’t want” to pass; I just couldn’t hold that information… and this is okay. It’s taken me years to come to terms with this, but I have NEVER been so peaceful with myself for doing so. So what if I failed history? It doesn’t define me or make me any less than I am.
Despite those grades dropping, the subjects I loved and had the drive for, I passed with flying colours. My main passion is art, and this has been very clear since day 1. Art came to me very naturally, and I was able to improve much quicker than other students. I would be a lot more picky, since I noticed things others didn’t. I challenged myself wherever I could, because this is what I love to do. I was very fortunate that the teachers I had were inspiring role models, and they were always able to help when I needed it. Even now, I still feel so lucky, and I’ll never be able to thank them enough for all they did!
This is probably one of the longest posts I’ve ever written… and it will not be the last. I’m planning on working on a series based on emotions, and how I’ve found each one is for me. These will be on each emotion, eg happiness, and how they affect me, how I show them, what not… I’m very excited needless to say!
Thank you as always for all your love, support, and time! Take care of yourselves, and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to message myself ✨
Lots of love, hugs, and bunny fluff,
A very tired but proud Em x